Friday 2 December 2016

The Irish word 'craic'... it sure isn't all that it's cracked up to be!

Nelson McCausland

Published 19/02/2016 | 09:30

One of the pictures that formed part of the 'Kings of the Craic' exhibition, St Stephen's Green.
One of the pictures that formed part of the 'Kings of the Craic' exhibition, St Stephen's Green.

What's the crack about 'craic'? "The constant Gaelicisation of the good old English/Scottish dialect word 'crack' as 'craic' sets my teeth on edge. It seems, indeed, that many people think that the word is an Irish one."

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That was the opinion of the late Professor Diarmaid O Muirithe, a lecturer in Irish at University College Dublin, and I agree with him wholeheartedly.

He described craic as "a hideous neologism". Another linguist described it as "fake Irish", Kevin Myers criticised it as "pseudo-Gaelic" and a "bogus neologism", and the Irish journalist Donald Clarke called it "a linguistic lie".

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